These days, many property appraisers are ditching their clipboard for an iPad or tablet. Others may be apprehensive about embracing this form of technology. Others simply aren’t sure how to use these tools on the job. Here are eight ways you can use an iPad or tablet to improve your efficiency and make your job easier throughout the appraisal process.
1. Scan documents on the go
Have you ever visited a home and needed to save a document that the homeowner provides? There are many tablet apps like CamScanner and JotNot that can scan documents and convert them into a PDF for later review. These apps also include functionality that converts written text into digital documents.
2. Take notes
iPads and Android tablets are excellent note-taking devices. Every tablet ships with Apple Notes or Google Keep already in the app list. Using an app to take notes offers several advantages, including cloud storage and access, increased readability, and less money spent on office supplies.
3. Build and streamline appraisal reports
You can create, edit, and share appraisal reports using a tablet. Finding recent comp sales and neighborhood information is simple using a web browser, and you can integrate other apps to add photos of the property’s current condition. You can easily create and save report templates as well.
4. Take and organize property photos
Almost all tablets are equipped with high-resolution cameras that allow you to take photos of subject properties and nearby properties you are using for comps. There are also apps you can use to organize and share these photos like Google Drive, Apple Photos, etc.
5. Access data stored in the cloud
A tablet can help you access data stored on a cloud server while you are unable to access your primary computer. Appraisers can use apps like Google Drive or Dropbox to access items like MLS sheets, tax assessment records, and property blueprints. You can store your documents on a personal server or share and use a group resource with other members of your team.
6. Communicate with your team
Many tablet apps allow you to link up walkie-talkie style with the rest of your team. Zello and Voxxer are both fantastic work-related apps. With these walkie-talkie apps, you can use an iPad or tablet to stay in touch and get the job done.
7. Sketch floor plans
Instead of using a pencil and paper, you can use 3D drawing software to sketch floor plans of the homes you review. Popular choices include Sweet Home 3D, Roomstyler 3D Home Planner, and Autodesk Homestyler.
8. Interact with your disto laser device
To capture and project accurate 3D measurements, many appraisers use a Lecia Disto Laser Device. When you connect your disto to your iPad or tablet, you can create CAD templates, display and search 3D maps, or perform Building Information Modeling by using DXF data to layout anchor points, verify construction locations, or transfer heights.
Are there any ways to use an iPad or tablet on the job that we missed? Let us know. Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. For more ways to improve your appraisal process, browse our appraisal blog.